Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 1, July 2006
Page(s) 181 - 187
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 02 June 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (1), pp. 181-187 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10081-1

A Gaussian model for the membrane of red blood cells with cytoskeletal defects

C. Dubus and J.-B. Fournier

Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC), UMR 7057 CNRS & Université Paris 7 2 place Jussieu, F-75251 Paris Cedex 05, France and Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie Théorique, UMR 7083 CNRS & ESPCI 10 rue Vauquelin, F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

received 10 March 2006; accepted in final form 11 May 2006
published online 2 June 2006

We study a Gaussian model of the membrane of red blood cells: a "phantom" triangular network of springs attached at its vertices to a fluid bilayer with curvature elasticity and tension. We calculate its fluctuation spectrum and we discuss the different regimes and non-monotonic features, including the precise crossover at the mesh size between the already known limits with two different tensions and the renormalisation of the bending rigidity at low wave vectors. We also show that the non-diagonal correlations reveal, in "dark field", the cytoskeletal defects. As a first step toward a non-invasive defect spectroscopy, the specific case of lacking bonds is studied numerically and analytically.

87.16.Gj - Cell walls.
87.16.Dg - Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles.
61.72.Hh - Indirect evidence of dislocations and other defects (resistivity, slip, creep, strains, internal friction, EPR, NMR, etc.).

© EDP Sciences 2006